When Do You Start?

Check out our Scholarships & Fellowships Guide. Applying for a prestigious external scholarship or fellowship is a time commitment, so getting an early start helps.

Many scholarships and fellowships require that students apply during their senior year. However, some award programs are directed towards first and second year students. Begin researching fellowships during your first year and take steps to become more competitive for the scholarships or fellowships, such as taking classes or participating in extracurricular activities that closely align with the desired scholarship or fellowship.

How Do You Start?

Make an appointment with your Career Coach by logging in to DoreWays. They’ll help you sketch out what experiences fit with your interests — would it be best for you to do an internship this summer? Or learn a new language? Or perhaps volunteer with a non-profit overseas? Talk to your Career Coach as your first step — they’ll help you build a holistic plan.

Then, visit our Fellowship page and peruse the various fellowships and scholarships offered. Review requirements and deadlines. There are more opportunities than we could possibly mention on our website, and more are being added all the time! Feel free to look at our list and apply to any “self-directed” awards on your own, and let us know if you find a truly amazing opportunity that we should add.

What is the General Process?

While the application process for each award varies, the general procedure for the different types of awards are very similar. Be prepared to secure at least two letters of recommendation and to write a tailored personal statement, in addition to other requirements. Beyond that, here’s what you should know about the processes for the different types of opportunities:

  • Nominated Awards: These awards require a special nomination letter to be submitted by the university on the student’s behalf. In most cases, the university can only nominate a limited number of students each year. That’s why we require you to notify us of your “Intent to Apply” well in advance of the official deadline, so we can conduct on-campus interviews and application review to determine whom will be nominated. Often, you’ll need to let us know months before the actual award deadline.
  • Supported Awards: While these awards do not require nomination, they are still very competitive and often involve some complicated requirements. When you know you want to apply for one of these awards, schedule an appointment with our Fellowships and Scholarships team to go over your materials. Be sure to meet with us at least two weeks before the official deadline–we often give extensive feedback, based on our familiarity with what these Selection Committees are looking for.
  • Self-Directed Awards: These applications are the most straight-forward and have no extra requirements, so most students can complete them on their own. If you’d like to have your materials for these awards reviewed, reach out to your Career Coach or the Writing Studio. Be sure to give them at least one week to give you feedback.